REGULATION AND COMPLIANCE
The industries in which Eaton engages are not closely
regulated, but the company still must adhere to antitrust,
ethics and securities rules. Sarbanes-Oxley compliance
once was a major concern but now is “more a part of
our DNA”—of less concern to the legal department
than to the company’s financial controllers, McGuire
said. Eaton insists that its employees “play from the
same playbook” regarding compliance, transparency
safety for major corporations’ truck fleets, and natu-
rally is subject to various environmental health and
safety laws. Its automotive division is concentrating
on hybrid electric and hybrid hydraulic as alternatives
to diesel and gasoline power trains. Protecting Eaton’s
intellectual property in the areas of technologies and
sustainability has grown in importance. Transactions
have more of a green tint as well; for example, McGuire
recently closed a licensing deal with Clean Diesel Tech-
Counsel Association has given Eaton its Employer
of Choice Award for encouraging an inclusive work-
place. The company actively promotes women and
minorities, and expects its outside law firms to do
the same. It’s the right thing to do, McGuire said, and
helps train diverse attorneys who one day might join
his department. He encourages his staff to become
involved in their local communities.
Knowing what resources to deploy, and adjusting for the
integration of acquisitions, is challenging and rewarding.”
and consistency across the board, he said.
The law department helps Eaton to obtain U.S.
State Department licenses when appropriate, particularly for its aerospace division. Extra sensitivity
is required when the product or system has military applications—less so if there is only a civilian
application. The company manufactures industrial
components globally, so it must obey the rules of
various national trade authorities and the Foreign
Corrupt Practices Act. Eaton strives to maintain good
relationships with unions and works councils around
the world, McGuire said.
nologies Inc. to produce emission control systems.
Eaton is “no different than other big companies”
when it comes to corporate security, McGuire said. Still,
there certainly has been an increased awareness of
security since Sept. 11, 2001, and protecting Eaton’s
multitude of employees in India took on added urgency
following the terrorist attack in Mumbai, India.
To help run its overseas facilities, Eaton hires locally
qualified legal staff. “There is more convergence in
international law now,” McGuire said; chances are
that, if something is illegal in the United States, it is
illegal overseas. “There are less and less surprises
than you used to see before.”
ROUTE TO THE TOP
McGuire earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology
in 1979 from George Washington University, where
he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated in
1983 from the University of Virginia School of Law.
His focus ranged from litigation to transactions as he
moved from his first job at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
to Atlanta-based Powell Goldstein. He went in-house
in 1992 at International Paper Co., where he spent 12
years, including four in Brussels as general counsel of
the European office. He arrived at Eaton in 2005.
McGuire was born in Lynn, Mass. Travel, reading
and following sports fill his spare time.
A BOOK AND MOVIE
When You Are Engulfed in Flames, by David Sedaris,
The company works with the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency toward improving fuel economy and
PRO BONO AND DIVERSITY
McGuire proudly noted that the Minority Corporate
An earlier version of this profile appeared in The
National Law Journal on Jan. 19, 2009.